Samara Mahindra: Caring for the Person, Not the Disease

Admired Women in Business, 2023


Medical science has evolved miraculously in the last few decades, and with it, people’s understanding of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. However, a sizable proportion of people who have a variety of chronic illnesses, including those that are terminal, do not consume a balanced diet that is appropriate for their condition. Additionally, a lot of people experience both mental and physical side effects post-treatment. These side effects can be prevented with the right personalized nutrition care, eventually helping you cope with the treatment better. Samara Mahindra, founder and director, closely examined such cases where individuals were facing problems during and after their treatment. In an attempt to disrupt traditional practice and offer the required care, she started a venture that focuses on all the resources one might need to manage cancer effectively. The integrative platform, CARER—Personalized Cancer Care and Integrative Oncology Care Company, is based in New Delhi and Bangalore but caters to all of India and internationally. The business was established over three years ago; however, the organization has been deeply involved in working on pilots and clinical trials for multiple years prior.

It is a personalized digital oncology platform that provides cancer patients with customized nutrition and integrative programs developed by trained oncology experts, adhering to the best clinical practices in the field of oncology. These programs help manage the side effects of cancer, improve response to treatment, adherence, survival, quality of life, and reduce healthcare costs. The company works closely with cancer groups, oncologists, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies and insurance providers as well. The most significant change the company has created has been an interest in the quality of life rather than its quantity. “People are more concerned about how they are living today and what their lifestyles are,” Samara adds. “Patients and caregivers don’t call us anymore asking whether we can cure them, but instead if we can make them feel better.

Samara portrays CARER as a social enterprise that focuses on the quality of life of individuals, giving them the power to heal themselves. Further, she states, it is the first and only evidence-based Integrative Oncology solution that has a proven methodology and track record to substantially decrease the side effects of cancer treatment, improve the quality of life of cancer patients, and increase adherence to medication/treatment. The non-clinical therapies delivered by CARER are completely personalized to each patient and delivered by medical experts in the domain, comprising of Onco Clinical Nutrition, Movement and Meditation Therapy and Mental Well-being Therapy for Cancer. One of the highlights of the company includes publishing a clinical trial of Integrative Oncology in the Journal of Precision Oncology, 2023.

"Whatever you do, do it for the greater good. Create magic, inspire the masses, and continue to dance in the rain!"

Laying the Foundation

Hailing from a business family with entrepreneurs around her, Samara always knew that she would follow the same path. The idea to get involved in Oncology and cancer care occurred with the unfortunate demise of Samara’s mother, who suffered from cancer. This personal experience inspired her to lay the foundations of CARER. With more than 10 years of experience in the field of integrative oncology, Samara has earned a name in the healthcare industry. She is respected in the medical community for founding one of the first reputable businesses to integrate integrative and holistic care into standard cancer therapy. She is well known for her attempts to bridge the gaps in cancer care.

Samara explains that she has a long road ahead of her until she sees herself as an exceptional leader. She takes great pride in her capacity to combine compassion, logic, and resilience. Because of this, she is an admirable leader on whom people can rely. She believes that having confidence in her ability to succeed was the toughest obstacle initially. “Failure and experience, with some successes, have taught me how to overcome these limiting beliefs,” she adds. She claims, that when a person does something repeatedly and achieves substantial growth as the outcome, trusting in one’s ability becomes much easier. She emphasises that she has worked considerably hard to know her craft and speak from experience and credibility. “Having said that, confidence is the one factor I feel has made me who I am today,” she continues. A great leader is inclusive and has the confidence to speak and the humility to listen at the same time. She claims that women have immense resilience, are multitaskers, and can approach a situation with logic and empathy combined. This assists in making a business compassionately driven and successful.

Samara Mahindra: Caring for the Person, Not the Disease
Samara Mahindra

Create Magic. Inspire Others

According to a popular saying, failure is the first step towards success. One has to taste the taste of failure before ultimately attaining the success one desires. Samara has also faced her fair share of failures in her journey. She acknowledges that she has failed at various points in the past. But every setback, no matter how severe or profound, has at some point had a positive impact on her life. She advises every ambitious leader to let go of fear and fail fast and frugally. “Whatever you do, do it for the greater good. Create magic, inspire the masses, and continue to dance in the rain!” she proudly asserts. She has worked her way up to create recognition for herself and her venture. Currently, she struggles with impatience, yet she is adherent to her methods and believes they will prove to be perfect.

She spends a great day off with her friends and family in her jammies, eating everything she shouldn’t, and catching up on meaningless television. She is inspired by women who wake up at the crack of dawn, cook, go to work, manage the home, take care of their parents, in-laws, husbands, children, and find peace and contentment in all of it. Samara has not necessarily been involved in any formal initiative; however, most of the company’s employees are women, with both male and female leaders in top leadership positions. There is a fundamental idea that everyone should be free to express their opinions and participate in all areas of the company. 

I would rather choose to inspire those I come in contact with to be the best version of themselves,” says Samara.

Admired Women in Business, 2023